A Road Less Travelled

Mar 16 2018

Editor’s Note: On March 10, students joined the University’s second I AM LIMITLESS Conference, hosted by the Career Development Center and  Academic Advising, to learn from professionals and peers about their journeys at NYU Shanghai and beyond. Curious about studying away and self-discovery, freshman Harry Huang, attended the conference and penned his reflection on the event in the blogpost below:

The most common question for students of the Classes of 2021 and 2020, is perhaps “Where have you decided to study away?” I’ve not only been asked multiple times by my peers, but also have talked thoroughly on the subject matter with my parents.

It was the same question I planned to answer when I signed up for the “I AM LIMITLESS Conference.” The event consisted of five panels and workshops with over 20 NYU alumni speakers and other experienced professionals in Shanghai.

I was expecting a series of lectures, but the presentations and the exchanges between the speakers were set in a conversational manner, both intriguing and hospitable.

In her presentation, Zhao Nan, a senior from Interactive Media Arts, encouraged  freshmen to “explore, define, and learn.” She shared her experiences of how local museums inspired her both academically and professionally while studying in Berlin.

“Give every study site an extensive evaluation and refrain from succumbing to the popular- but-not-right choice,” she said.

During lunch with alumni and professionals, I met David Charlton, the International Manager at HSBC, and Xia Kai, partner of Sharing, who previously worked at Red (小红书), Microsoft, and Evernote. They talked about their internship experiences and valuable life lessons as globetrotters.

Echoing the guest speakers, I felt I have been and will continue to be a globetrotter, and I fully understand that no amount of research can ever substitute for experience. For me, the ideal job should be one that can satisfy both my travel and career aspirations.

An entire junior year is nowhere near enough time to take advantage of and experience all of the fourteen diverse campuses and study sites of NYU. It’s of utmost importance for all freshmen to be fully informed of their options in order to choose a location that they will get the most out of.

To quote from “The Road Not Taken,” by American poet Robert Frost: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.”

Although certain majors, study sites or professions are more popular than others, I will place my emphasis on self-discovery, being a globetrotter and Imay take the road less travelled by.